February Top 10 Reads

1. The Best Example of Brand Storytelling Ever: The Lego Movie

We hear lots of talk these days about the power of “storytelling”—and why it’s so critical for businesses and brands as we continue to rush forth in the digital age.  But like so much of this other stuff we yap about in the marketing and branding realm, storytelling has always been important. It has been the essence of the greatest and most successful communicators since the beginning of man.

2. Don’t Forget … You’re the Coach For Your Team

As the owner, do you also think of yourself as a coach? Embracing this part of your role - to help your people grow while your business does - is more important than ever before. Because even if they don't always say so, everyone on your team wants the same thing: to feel that their work mattered today, to you and to them.

3. Four Tips for Better Strategic Planning

No great strategy was born without careful thought. That’s why the process of planning a strategy itself is an important vehicle for setting priorities, making investment decisions, and laying out growth plans. But for many companies, the activity has devolved into either an overexplained budget or just bad amateur theater – lots of costumes in the form of analysis, charts, and presentations – but with very little meaningful substance that can be translated into action.

4. 3 Tips for Mentoring Millennials

Help them make real-world connections, and make it fruitful for the mentor, too.

5. How to Be a Family-Friendly Boss

Managing employees is not easy, and for the most part, human resource policies in large organizations are designed to simplify things. But sometimes, in their tendency to focus on risks and avoid worse-case abuses, these policies serve to discourage supervisors from doing what makes sense. By allowing workers more control over the “work” part of their lives, direct supervisors can help them achieve the balance they need to meet both work and family commitments.

6. The Secret to Delighting Customers

Why is customer experience so difficult to get right? The main hurdle is translating boardroom vision into action at the front line. That’s even more important in an era when optimizing individual customer touchpoints is no longer enough —when you have to focus on holistic customer journeys, instead.

7. Want To Know What Motivates Your Staff? Just Ask Them.

Employee mentoring starts with accepting the real responsibility that lies in having authority and influence over someone else’s paycheck, not to mention the rest of their day. That’s why it’s one of the most essential components in our coaching curriculum.

8. 4 Simple Ways to Boost Accountability 

If you want to build a culture of accountability in your team, you need to set the example and be more accountable yourself. Get started with these four simple tips.

9. Building a Feedback-Rich Culture

You have to integrate the behaviors you want into your team’s daily routines in order to normalize those behaviors within the organization’s culture. If feedback is something that happens only at unusual times (such as a performance review or when something’s gone wrong), it’ll never really be an organic part of the organizational culture. It has to show up in everyday life — on a walk down the hallway, at the end of a meeting, over a cup of coffee.

10. How Regular Exercise Helps You Balance Work and Family

The start of a new year is always a great time to think about what we want to see happen in the coming year, and to resolve to pursue those objectives more actively. If you have been feeling torn between resolutions to exercise more and to be a better working parent or spouse, then this should come as great news: You can do both.

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